Re: Recent threads

From: Theodore H. Mann (
Date: Fri Feb 13 1998 - 16:45:10 EST

Although I am a relatively new subscriber to B-Greek, and perhaps should
not "put in my oars" on this issue, I would like to offer an hearty
"Hear! Hear!" to Mr. (Dr.?) Conrad's posting (which I have severely
edited below). I am really enjoying B-Greek and have learned a great
deal very quickly about the language. Many thanks to you wonderful
people! I would hate to see the listing become embroiled in theological
wrangling and invective, and drift from its intended purpose. Granted,
the line that separates what is appropriate from what is in appropriate
is blurry, and I am not always certain that my elementary comments are
acceptable. I want them to be, however, and I invite Jonathan or anyone
else to correct me if I get out of line. Let's focus on Greek!!

Dr. Theodore "Ted" H. Mann
Orchard Lake, Michigan

On Fri, 13 Feb 1998 06:10:23 -0600 "Carl W. Conrad"
<> writes (snips):

>Dear B-Greekers:
>I am both heartened and dismayed by the volume, substance, and tone of
>several recent threads on the list. The volume--at least as a matter
>of quantity rather than decibels--doesn't bother me, although personally

>it seems to me to be harder, although not impossible, to keep up with it

>and make thoughtful replies--but of course, not all subscribers are
>interested in everything that comes up. The substance has often seemed
to me to
>transcend the appropriate boundaries of discussion for this list,
>while at the same time I'm pleased to see a nice level of civility in
most of
>the discussion on the very controversial interpretation of John 1:1. The

>tone of quite a few posts recently has been very disturbing, and some
>been contacted off-list about provocative displays of feeling about
>which have nothing to do with the Greek language or the Greek text of
>the Bible. I want to make just a few comments. . .

>(1) B-Greek is open to persons of ALL or NO religious persuasion(s)
>who want to discuss the Greek text or Greek language of the Bible
>seriously. There are no religious qualifications for participation, but
there is
>an assumption that participants are knowledgeable or at least in the
>process of acquiring a knowledge of Biblical Greek.
>(2) B-Greek is NOT a forum for discussion of theological views...
> but the discussion ought to focus upon what the text itself can or
cannot mean
>in terms of its own diction and syntax, NOT on the theology or
>of the poster or of the respondents.
>(3) While not a qualification for participation in B-Greek, a healthy
>sense of humor--not the sarcastic or cynical kind--can be a wholesome
>in the reading and responding: if we are strong enough in our own
>commitments we can ward off provocations with a smile and have some
sense of our
>own weaknesses that enables us not to respond in kind to statements or
>tones that gore our own ox(es).
>(4) I think people ought to realize, as most do, that we bring to
>discussion on this list not only a broad range of theology and faith
>but with those a hermeneutic bias regarding what sorts of argument we
>likely to find convincing regarding the understanding of the Biblical
>text. I think that quite often this hermeneutic unconscious or
unexamined but
>nevertheless is intensely involved as we read and respond to posts on
>this list......And Ithink it would be helpful if, when we respond on
list, we bear in
>mind that there really is a broad range of hermeneutical approaches
>represented in the list-membership.
>(5) Finally, I'd like to underscore a point that Jonathan has made
>both on list and in some off-list notes that I know he has sent to some
>respondents. I suspect we all use the labels, "Liberal," "Conservative,"
>"Left wing," "Right wing," "Radical," "Reactionary," etc., to a
>greater or lesser extent. However much we may tend to identify or
>label the stance of the poster of any one of the messages we read on the
>it is not only not useful but it is positively detrimental to peace and
>civility of exchanges on the list to use such labels openly in our
>Nobody is urged to change the persuasion that he or she holds regarding
where he
>or she or others may stand on either a political or a theological
>spectrum, but Everybody is urged to understand that persons from
anywhere on the
>spectrum are welcome on the list. But we have no business talking
>about these stances as such. I think that both liberals and
>have been at fault recently in offering disparaging remarks about
>or groups that have posted to the list, and I really hope that we can
>those comments out.
>I apologize for the lengthh of this post, but if we are going to
>continue to have as great a volume on the list and if we are going to
>to focus upon texts (such as John 1:1) that are touchstones for very
>important differences in our theological and faith-commitments, then we
>absolutely must address each other respectfully and with a sense that we
>learn from each other.
>Carl W. Conrad
>Department of Classics/Washington University
>One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
>Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
> OR

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